Southport Fly-in 2016

A bit disappointing

This event has been on the LMA calendar for a few years now and it seem to be gathering momentum. However, as it becomes more popular with our members it seems to creating the opposite effect with the Southport club. This year has seen the poorest turn out from them since it started, yet from an LMA point we had more members than last year. I just hope it was the weather that put them off and not the fact that they don’t think their models are good enough.

Dark Skies

Speaking of weather, well we had some thrown at us over the course of the weekend I can tell you. But despite all that, the ground just drank it up like a sponge. Just as well because it was torrential at times. The Southport club took precautions in the light of the bad weather pending and hired a big marquee to house all the models which was a god send at times. The great thing about Southport’s Leisure Lakes site is you can see in the distance the pending weather ahead thus enabling everyone to take action in advance which was a big advantage.

As the skies darkened in the distance you could see the rain falling. Now we all knew this was the time to make a hasty retreat. (To try and give you a sense of how it was let me tell you how one such event unfolded). Most made their way to the marquee, me however full laden with camera etc.  retreated to my caravan and put the kettle on. Within a matter of minutes, the heavens opened and the heavy rain sounded like hailstones on the roof of the caravan. With kettle boiled, I sat down with my cuppa and managed to get another page of the Journal done before it stopped once again. Oh it felt good knowing the caravan was only meters away from the flying field. We all give it another ten minutes to soak in the ground before we ventured out to fly again.  Despite the weather there was very little disruption to the flying all weekend we all just managed to keep ahead of the rain.

Click on the pictures to enlarge

First Casualty

Our first casualty of the weekend happened before I even got there, Dave Bell managed to plant his new T38 firmly in one of the many trees at Leisure Lakes. Too high to retrieve we all had to suffer its continuing cry of help day and knight is it beeped every 5 seconds continually you could almost relate to it as saying HELP! – – – – – HELP! Needless to say poor Dave Bell got some serous stick all weekend as this was his second model he had put in the trees at this site in the same amount of years. He is now known as Treeser. Sorry Dave I have rubbed it in enough now! Moving on.

WOT’s Left”!

One of the strangest things happened and sadly I wasn’t quick enough to capture it on camera there was a Wot4 that just took off and as it lifted it plunged back into the ground. Stunned by what had just happened someone shouted, “it looks like you now got a WOT’s Left”, to which the place erupted in to laughter, even the pilot couldn’t help but laugh. When we had all stopped falling on the floor laughing we did feel a bit sorry for him as it was brand new.  But only a bit, we can be a cruel lot at times.

Bringing Back Memories

Now Dave and Andy Johnson did bring an array of models to play with one in particular was Alfie Machin’s HP 42. This old Imperial Airliner was Alfie’s pride and joy, and the source of entertainment for many a year at the Yorkshire Air Spectacular, now we haven’t heard that name for a long time have we. To most in the LMA it was known as Rufforth. Every Saturday evening it was wheeled out to supposedly get it test flights done, it never managed it. Year on year it would go through the same thing taking most of the night getting the MDS glow engines going and if we were lucky no one would lose a finger but some did end up injured by the props in one way or another. If we were really lucky it would get a flight this would bring an enormous cheer from fellow pilots, modellers and general public that were camping as it lifted into the air. They were great days. Alfie passed away a few years ago and left his beloved HP42 to Dave Johnson. Seeing it back together bought them memories flooding back. I have to say though I am sure it is cursed, as even today with it four Z26’s it still has engine issues and took a long time to get them all running right. However once in the air it looked fantastic.


Our Bob

Most that frequent the LMA Shows will have met our Bob, like him or loathe him he is the man that insists on checking your fail safe whether it a prop engine or a jet, it makes no difference to him. Because our Bob works at the shows he doesn’t fly. But that’s not to say he can’t as Bob demonstrated over the weekend by flying low and inverted between the trees ( don’t you just hate a smart arse) anyway this of course then set the tone for though who were just as stupid (or just good pilots, I never said that) to take up the challenge, (it will end in tears, trust me) as this tentorial challenge continued over the weekend Bob the man who started it decided to come through the trees even lower to which his undercarriage (which was upside-down by the way) hit a branch of one of the trees ( see I told you it would end in tears) it rip off and took out one of his elevators, Bob’s quick reaction flip it the right way but unfortunately he had lost to much power and it hit the deck. The good news is it will repair. Needless to say he joined Dave Bell in getting some serous stick. Oh Bob!

Diamond Burgers

Now at most fly-in’s we always get the BBQ chef, we all seen them, rustling up their culinary delights. At Southport we have our intrepid Ken who use to be known as the diamond burger king back in the day. However, Ken has mastered the art of cooking burgers and always manages to serve up a cooked to perfection burger and along with Lynne who makes a big pan of onions all that’s needed is to add cheese and tomato source (none of the BBQ rubbish) followed this up with Liz who always provides a heathy salad, there you have it celestial on a plate with a touch of health what more do you want. Ken also provides tea, coffee, biscuits and cake for everyone throughout the day as well, he’s is good like that.

Time Gentlemen Please

Now we are used to having models that are unusual but we weren’t prepared for what was about to arrive next. The LMA Trainer the Sky-120 has seen many forms as most would have seen Mike Eccles 120 turned into a bird doggish type of thing. Well these next four 120’s, where certainly different as each one looked like a beer commercial for instance, Fosters, Boddingtons, Heineken and Carlsberg. The finish on every one were absolutely spot on, each one of them held a can of the beer and when flying deployed the can which parachuted down, absolutely brilliant!  What will they think of next?

We Are Going Cubing

There were no less than three Cub’s flying over the weekend and if I could have been bothered to nip back home we would have had four flying at once, the only downside would have been no pictures to back it up as that is what I was doing all weekend.

I feel this model is always under estimated it amazes me when people say they are only trainers! Nothing could be further than the truth. They are lovely flyer but they do have a nasty habit of catching you out if you are not careful. That big wing area has a nasty stall point as though of you who have flown one can testify. I have heard so many say I lost it, I have no control, what they have really done is stalled it and unless you have enough height you won’t recover in time and bang it is in.

Coming Full Circle

At the beginning I said we had our first casualty which was Dave Bell’s T38 we lost a few more over the weekend due to engine failures etc. But the good news is Dave Bell got his plane back before the weekend was over. Andy Johnson knew a tree surgeon and for a small fee he came and retrieved the model from the offending tree, much to the surprise of everyone there was very little damage and after a good drying out was flying again on the Sunday. Needless to say Dave didn’t fly it as he sold it to Andy who is now the proud owner, and when asked how much did you pay for it Andy the answer was it was a bargain!  Well what did you expect!

There where versus models flying over the weekend as the pictures will show. The Southport club did us proud once again, I would have like to have seen more of their members but it is possible the weather put them off, I’d like to think so. But I have to say the whole of the weekend was just fun and micky taking which made a great atmosphere. No one got upset and threw there dummies out of the pram I just wish shows could be more like fly-ins.

Dave Parry (LMA Journal Editor)

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